Travel & Tourism

10 free, kid-friendly activities to do on the Mississippi Coast over holiday vacation

Jade'lenn Adams, 6, of Gulfport runs away after scaring up a flock of birds on the beach near the Courthouse Road Pier in Gulfport on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Visiting the beaches and piers along the Mississippi Coast is just one of many free activities to do with kids.
Jade'lenn Adams, 6, of Gulfport runs away after scaring up a flock of birds on the beach near the Courthouse Road Pier in Gulfport on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Visiting the beaches and piers along the Mississippi Coast is just one of many free activities to do with kids. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

The Coast is just a few days away for Christmas vacation, and while there will be busy days ahead, sooner or later, the kids will be singing that age-old Christmas carol “I’m Bored. There’s nothing to do.”

That’s when you say, “get in the car.”

You can always visit the beach and many piers along the water, but here are some other destinations that are free (Admit, your bank account could use a breather, too).

1. First stop, the library. You know what the smart people say, there is no gift greater than the gift of reading. And they also have movies, story times and other activities. Check the websites before you light out: harrison.lib.ms.us/calendar/, hancocklibraries.info and jgrls.org.

2. The Alice Mosely Museum is in the Old Train Depot, 1928 Depot Way, Bay St. Louis. There’s a Mardi Gras Museum next door.

3. The Davis Bayou Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, U.S. 90 and Park Road, offers fishing, hiking, biking, birdwatching, picnicking and ranger-led programs.

4. In Ocean Springs, Shearwater Pottery as see the place where Peter Anderson once worked. Generations of Andersons have created art there and the workshop is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

5. Take a hike! The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge has two trails.

6. The C.L. Dees Nature Trail at the Visitor Center Parking lot is a three-fourths-mile loop through woodlands, wetlands and pine savannah. Kids love carnivorous plants, right? Butterworts, pitcher plants and sundews abound.

7. The Fountainebleau Trail is next to the Ocean Springs Middle School and is a mile-and-a-half jaunt through a variety of habitats. There are two observation platforms.

8. The G.I Museum is between Ocean Springs and Gautier at 5796 Ritcher Road. Open every Wednesday and the first and third Sunday of every month. Details: 228-872-1943 or mansfieldd@bellsouth.net.

9. BB Jennnings Park off Fair Street in Pascagoula has education area where you can learn about the plants and animals of a wetlands and how Coastal waters are naturally filtered.

10. Check out the Busted Wrench Garage, Museum, & Gift Shop, 2311 29th St., Gulfport, and the classic cars, motorcycles, and boats in its 6,000-square-foot exhibit hall.

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